King Edward Lodge #86
Celebration of 100 Years Since the Opening of the Present Lodge Building
Opening of the Time Capsule.
Check out the Picture Gallery to see some high lights of the day's celebrations.
History of King Edward Lodge
I would like to welcome all of you here this afternoon to help us celebrate the 100th Anniversary of this Lodge Hall and land mark of our community. I also want to take a few minutes of your time to tell you about the events that took place 100 years ago that has brought us here today.
On December 18th 1907, a meeting of Master Masons was held in River Hebert at J.L. MacDonald Hall for the purpose of forming a Masonic Lodge in River Hebert. (That hall was approximately where the medical center sits today.) At that time a motion was made and passed to organize a Masonic lodge and call it King Edward Lodge. Many of those brothers at the time belonged to lodges in Amherst and Parrsboro they all agreed to become members of the new lodge and support it fully. They proceeded to appoint officers to serve the lodge until June when Grand Lodge would be held. It was moved and passed at this time to rent MacDonald Hall and hold their meetings on the second Tuesday of each month.
April 21st , 1908 Dispensation was received from the Grand Master to open the lodge under the name King Edward Lodge, and power was granted to confer degrees and all other work that a Master Masons Lodge could do. Also on this date Midas Lodge #67 from Parrsboro loaned the lodge all the necessary paraphinnila needed in the lodge.
On July 30th a dedication service was held at the Baptist Church. At this time the number 86 was given to the Lodge by the Grand Master of masons of Nova Scotia.
For the next year and ahalf masonry continued to flourish in River Hebert.
On February 8, 1910 a committee was appointed to look into building a Masonic Hall in River Hebert.
March 16th , 1910 it was decided to have a ground floor in the hall to serve as a public hall.
April 15th the committee presented an estimated price of between $2600 and $3500 for the hall, this would include a basement. A site was also chosen. It was referred to as Church Lot #14.
January 24th, 1911 the first site was abandoned because there was no clear title to the land. Three sites were presented and voted on. The James Hennessy lot which we are sitting on today was chosen at a cost of $150. It was moved and passed to build a hall 35 feet by 70 feet with an upstairs lodge room and a down stairs public hall with a stage for concerts and a basement. The committee was asked to look into sketches, plans and cost.
February 21st, after much discussion it was voted on to build a brick structure 33 by 72. Ideas for the lodge hall were passed onto an Architect to create plans. It was also reported that there was no problem with getting the money from the bank to construct the building.
March 8th plans and specification for the hall were presented for viewing by the brothers. After some discussion it was decided to ask the architect to specify steel girders to support the second floor so no posts would used on the first floor.
May 9th a motion was passed to levy a 10 cent per month tax on each member to raise funds for the new lodge hall.
June 13th a bill for the plans for the new hall from J. L. Allen was presented. Cost estimates from 4 companies were read with prices ranging from $6500 - $6600.
At the September 12th meeting, it was decided to postpone the building of the hall until the spring of 1912 because it was getting late in the year for construction to take place.
October 11, the building committee moved that they be given permission to make some changes to the plans for the hall that would hopefully lower the cost. This motion was passed. It also gave the committee approval to call for tenders on the revised plans.
February 23rd, 1912 the building committee reported back on tenders received. The lodge voted to go with the lowest tender of $5894 from J. E. Lusby Construction Company. The lodge borrowed $1000 to get started with the construction. It was also moved and passed at this time that any members that wanted to loan the lodge money for the construction would be repaid at an interest rate of 3% per year for 4 years.
June 6th, 1912 Grand Lodge Special Communication was held in River Hebert with 45 members present. The acting Grand Master of the day, J. R. Parker spoke on the subject of laying the corner stone. The lodge meeting was then called to refreshment and the brothers formed a procession that marched from MacDonald Hall to the new lodge site where Mr. Parker layed the Corner Stone of the new lodge and placed a Time Capsule behind the corner stone at this time.
June 19th the building committee ask that tenders be added to the hall for electric lights on both levels of the hall.
October 8th, Secretary reported that the Grand Master would be present on the 25th to dedicate the new hall. A committee was established at this time to secure a Supper for the event at a cost of $1 per person.
October 25th just four and half months after the corner stone was laid the first official lodge meeting was held in the new hall after it was dedicated by the Grand Master.
Over the past 100 years the lodge has welcomed in and raised hundreds of masons from all walks of life.
The upper lodge hall has served as host to lodge meetings, district meetings, grand lodge’s annual communication, and joint instillations.
The lower hall where we are now gathered has served the community in many capacities over the last 100 years. Formal New Years Eve Balls were the first events to take place in the hall. The lodge has serve as a community meeting hall, dances were held here on a regular basis, as well as youth dances, girl power workshops, variety shows, and even funeral services. The hall has also been used as a school when one of the local area one room schools burned down in the 1920’s. Most recently our by-weekly ever popular open mic music nights of which one is taking place later on this afternoon has turned the hall into a bee hive of activity on Saturday nights. Before leaving later this afternoon please make sure that you have signed our guest book so that in 100 years time on our bicentennial celebration our grand children’s grand children will be able to see that we all witnessed this historic event taking place today. Thank you for your time and I hope you enjoy the rest of the afternoon.